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‘Talk Talk’ returns as Bright defends selection

KABELO BORANABI
Motlhabankwe
Two months into his Zebras reign, David Bright has begun recalling experienced players to blend with youngsters, post the Peter Butler era. Bright has included a number of players who are in the wrong side of the age 30 in the 25-man squad for the country’s 51st Independence day celebrations’ fixture scheduled for Saturday.

The coach, who is the first local since Stan Tshosane to lead the team on permanent basis, included 36-year-old Township Rollers full back Tshepo Motlhabankwe who last played for the Zebras in 2013. The list also includes 32-year-old Maano Ditshupo, Edwin Olerile and Jerome Ramatlhakwana who were part of the 2012 history making squad.

Speaking at a press briefing in Gaborone yesterday, Bright said his technical team had to turn to the old guard as the majority lacked international experience. “When we came in, we found out that most of the players who were in the squad were development players and we cannot develop at the senior national team level.” “We also observed that the team was inexperienced as it was evident as in the past two or three years they have failed to qualify for any major tournament. We never achieved anything with these young boys. We are not foreigners, we are locals and we know our players. We know a certain player looking at their experience and what they can offer for the team,” Bright explained his selection criteria.

He, however said he is not shutting the door on young talent as he said they are part of

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the 50 players’ pool that he selects from, depending on the competition. The well travelled coach, who is yet to secure his first victory, said there is progress despite losses to South Africa and Tanzania in the last three fixtures. “I think we are on the right track. Although we lost the match (against Tanzania), we created a lot of chances. We are trying by all means to come up with a team that would make Batswana proud,” he said. The Zebras play Ethiopia on Saturday afternoon at the National Stadium. The team will report for camp tomorrow while the Antelopes arrive in the country tomorrow. The two sides met in the 2015 Independence celebrations where the East Africans walked away 3-2 victors.

 

The full squad

Goalkeepers: Kabelo Dambe, Mwampule Masule (both Rollers), Anthony Gouws (Galaxy)

 

Defenders: Thabang Mosigi, Lesenya Ramoraka (both Orapa United), Tshepo Motlhabankwe, Mosha Gaolaolwe, Simisane Mathumo, Edwin Olerile (all Rollers), Tapiwa Gadibolae (Police XI)

 

Midfilders: Keagile Kobe (BDF XI), Kabelo Seakanyeng, Alphonse Modisaotsile (both GU), Gilbert Baruti, Thero Setsile (both Galaxy), Gift Moyo (Orapa), Maano Ditshupo, Lemponye Tshireletso, Segolame Boy (all Rollers)

 

Attackers: Onkabetse Makgantai (AS Vita), Tumisang Orebonye (GU), Hendrick Moyo (Police XI), Jerome Ramatlhakwana (Rollers)



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